University | Computing Science | Modules | CSCU9Q5 | Syllabus Updated 15/09/15 13:04
CSCU9Q5 - Database Principles and Applications Syllabus Autumn 2017









This is an undergraduate course which introduces the principles of relational database systems.




20 credits at SCQF level 11

Learning outcomes

  • A practical and theoretical knowledge of Database Management Systems, using MySQL as an example
  • Familiarity with MySQL and interfacing to it with PHP and Java
  • An understanding of the crucial role of databases for information systems
  • An understanding of the commercial implications of good database design
  • Ability to design and implement a practical database
  • An understanding of the general principles of database management
  • Awareness of the different interface styles that are available for modern DBMSs
  • The ability to apply theory and techniques to previously unseen problems without reference to notes, and to work independently and under a time constraint.

Transferable skills: Ability to see how data management skills can be applied in any context, and to see how data of any type can be given regular structure

Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, and to work independently and under a time constraint.

  • The rationale of Database Management Systems (DBMS) and their role within organisations
  • The ANSI-SPARC three-level model of DBMSs
  • The relational data model, and the operators of relational algebra
  • EAR modelling and normalisation
  • Implementing decompositions and loading databases
  • SQL
  • Java, PHP and WWW interfacing
  • Back-up and concurrency
  • Distribution of database components
  • Administration and management of DBMSs: professional and legal issues including Data Protection
  • Commercial considerations of database design and use
  • Assignment (40%)
  • Examination (60%)

Module Requirements

To be eligible for a pass grade in the module, students must:

  • Submit the assessed coursework (assignment)
  • Attempt the examination.

If you do not fulfil the requirements you will be awarded grade X for the module. [See paragraphs 60-61 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Coursework extensions

Students who can show good cause may be permitted extensions to coursework deadlines. "Good cause" may include illness, for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required. Students must request an extension by contacting the module coordinator, supplying relevant evidence, no later than seven days after the published assignment deadline. Extensions will be granted for acceptable reasons only, and will not normally be beyond such time as solutions and feedback are returned to the rest of the class. [See Section 6.2.6 of the Academic Policy Handbook]

Late submission of coursework

Coursework that is submitted late will be accepted up to seven days after the published deadline (or expiry of any agreed extension) but the mark will be lowered by three marks per day or part thereof. After seven days the piece of work will be deemed a non-submission. [See paragraph 66-68 of the Undergraduate Regulations on Assessment]

Repeat assessments

Students who fulfil the module requirements, but obtain an overall fail mark (0-39) are eligible for repeat assessment. In most cases, this will be a repeat examination (grade RE). In some cases, the Examiners may permit repeat submission of coursework (grade RC) or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade RA). The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40.

Discretionary repeat assessments

In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met all the module requirements, following the Main examination period, may be permitted a discretionary repeat. This may be a repeat examination (grade XE), repeat submission of coursework (grade XC), or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade XA). The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40. If you are granted a discretionary repeat assessment but do not attempt it, you will be awarded grade X for the module.

In deciding whether to grant a discretionary repeat, the Examiners will consider your record of attendance and engagement in the module. Students with a poor attendance record will not normally be permitted a discretionary repeat.

Deferred examinations

If you are unable to attend the Main examination, you must apply for a Deferred examination through the link on the Student Portal. If a Deferred examination is denied and you do not attend the Main examination, you will be deemed not to have met the module requirements. [See Deferred Exams]

Attendance recording

Attendance at tutorials will be recorded. If you are unable to attend a class, please email the module organizer, and submit a self-certification of absence via the Portal, if appropriate. The University has a policy of monitoring attendance. Repeated absence will be followed up in order to identify any problems at an early stage and to offer students appropriate support.

Work which is submitted for assessment must be your own work.

All students should note that the University has a formal policy on plagiarism. Plagiarism means presenting the work of others as though it were your own. The University takes a very serious view of plagiarism, and the penalties can be severe. Specific guidance on computing assignments may be found in the Postgraduate Student Handbook


Click on the names of the books to find them in the University Library.
  • Colin Ritchie, Relational Database Principles: 3rd Edition, Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN: 9781844805402.
    A good introduction, covering the major themes of the unit. Recommended for purchase but not essential.
  • (2nd Edition still ok)
  • Thomas Connolly & Carolyn Begg, Database Systems: 4th Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2005. ISBN 0-321-29401-7. Expensive, but very complete and authoritative. Excellent for further reading
  • Michele E. Davis, Jon A. Philips, Learning PHP and MySQL, O'Reilly.

- Co-ordinator: Prof. Amir Hussain
Email / Tel / 01786 467437 - Fax 01786 464551
Mail Room 4X3, Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA
Contact Details